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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Several studies of St. John’s wort alone and St. John’s wort with black cohosh have been able to demonstrate that these products are good options for perimenopausal and menopausal women with hot flashes, mood issues, sleep problems and quality of life.

In the newest of the St. John’s wort studies in perimenopausal/meclip_image002nopausal women, a total of 100 Iranian women with an average age of 50 participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing St. John’s wort with placebo in the treatment of hot flashes.[1] 50 women received 20 drops three times daily of St. John’s wort extract (Hypericin) that contained hypericin 0.2 mg/mL and 50 women received a placebo of distilled water. The study duration was two months. Clinical exams and interviews were performed at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Treatment effectiveness was measured evaluating frequency, duration and severity of hot flashes as the main objective of the study.

In women taking St. John’s wort, the frequency began to decline during the 1st and 2nd months, but showed more improvement during the 2nd month. There was no statistical change in hot flash frequency during the first month of placebo but did improve during the second month. Women who used St. John’s wort showed more improvement in hot flash frequency than placebo. The decline in duration of hot flashes was statistically significant at week 8 and the decline was much more evident in the St. John’s wort group. The severity of hot flashes was relieved in the St. John’s wort group during the 2 months of treatment and was more significant in the second month. Women in the placebo group did not show any significant decrease in severity of hot flashes during the 1st month, but they did have some improvement during the 2nd month, but not as great as those women in the St. John’s wort group.


St. John’s wort has emerged as an important clinical tool in treating perimenopausal/menopausal women—for hot flashes and/or depression and/or mood swings, and/or sleep problems either as an encapsulated standardized extract from 300 mg twice per day to three times per day, or a tincture/liquid extract ½ tsp 2-3 times per day, or in combination with other menopause therapies such as black cohosh, maca extract, kava or others.


[1] Abdali K, Khajehei M, Tabatabaee R. Effect of St. John’s wort on severity, frequency, and duration of hot flashes in premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Menopause 2010;17(2): 326-331.

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